Help REI Grow the OptOutside Movement – Share With Your Networks

For the last two years REI’s award-winning #OptOutside campaign has encouraged more than 7 million people to #OptOutside. This week, they alerted us that they have launched #OptOutside for 2017. To further support the movement to get more Americans outside they have developed a new report entitled The Path Ahead. The report captures trends that affect the future of life outdoors. It doesn’t present the answers, but is designed to provoke discussion by exploring nine ‘brutal truths’ juxtaposed with nine ‘beautiful possibilities.’ Together, they paint a picture of what could happen if we stay inside as a species, or #OptOutside.

The Path Ahead report is aimed at prompting deeper dialogue about why we all ought to #OptOutside. The goal is to raise awareness among grasstops leaders and outdoorists nationwide, encourage more #OptOutside activations, and inspire the outdoor community to spend this upcoming Black Friday November 24th outside with friends and family.

The Refuge Association is excited to get behind the #OptOutside movement because it is deeply aligned with the strategic vision:

  • The ‘Nature Connection/Opt Outside’ Movement is one of the next big human trends
  • Americans love the way connecting with the outdoors and wildlife makes them feel
  • Wildlife Refuges are the best places in America – to experience wildlife; experience wildlife-dependent recreation; for women to feel free outside; to go for a walk; to get your nature fix close to home; and for wildlife, humanity, and the planet to thrive
  • The National Wildlife Refuge System – the world’s largest network of lands and waters set aside for wildlife conservation across 566 Refuges – is uniquely positioned to become the ‘home’ of the ‘Nature Connection/Opt Outside’ movement
  • The Refuge Association exists to protect and promote the National Wildlife Refuge System – America’s Gateway to Nature – Where Wildlife, Humanity, and the Planet Thrive.

With your support, the Refuge Association is hoping to demonstrate the exponential power of our Friends network to activate our community and to become co-stewards of the ‘Nature Connection/Opt Outside’ movement.  This will also help us to attract Corporate Partners like REI to partner with us, which will generate critical sponsorship funds.

Next Step: We request that you read The Path Ahead and share it across your channels and social media feeds.

What to Know: See the report here www.rei.com/blog/the-path-ahead. It includes a compelling video you can view here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8scLX_eL2Q.

What to Do: Share with Friends and other organizations that support the Refuge System.  When you skip the mall and “optoutside” on November 24th, be sure to share your activities and include the #optoutside and #wildliferefuge tags along with your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts.

What is the deadline? – Share with your networks by November 19, 2017.

The Refuge Association thanks you for taking swift action to help support this deeply aligned initiative while also helping us to demonstrate the power of our network to attract corporate partners to support our critical mission to help wildlife, humanity, and the planet to thrive.

Read REI’s letter to the National Wildlife Refuge Association

REI friends and partners,

On Monday last week, we launched #OptOutside for 2017. Our focus, once more, is to celebrate hardworking people dedicated to a life outdoors and to get more Americans outside. We’re introducing a number of things to do that this year.

Today, we’re especially happy to share a new report with you, the nonprofit and government leaders who have built #OptOutside. Entitled The Path Ahead, it captures trends that affect the future of life outdoors. It doesn’t present the answers. It’s designed to provoke discussion by exploring nine ‘brutal truths’ juxtaposed with nine ‘beautiful possibilities.’ Together, they paint a picture of what could happen if we stay inside as a species, or #OptOutside. You can access the content at www.rei.com/blog/the-path-ahead. It includes a compelling animation, which also can be viewed here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8scLX_eL2Q.

You and your colleagues will be familiar with the different segments of The Path Ahead. The report puts them in one place and presents them against the backdrop of the national discussion that #OptOutside has helped catalyze. As a next step, we’d urge you both to read The Path Ahead and share it across your channels in order to inspire the deeper appreciation of why we spend time outside. And if you and your teams have thoughts about how REI might support greater discussion of the report’s themes, your friends at REI are always interested in new, creative ideas.

We created The Path Ahead partly to spark conversation, but also to say thank you. For the last two years, you have been the lifeblood of #OptOutside. Together, we have encouraged more than 7 million people to #OptOutside. Thanks to your engagement, what started as a moment, has become a movement. And this year, the pace is picking up again. Already, we know that:

·       Michigan state parks will have free entry to parks and trails on Black Friday,

·       Eastcoast Greenway Alliance, throughout November, is encouraging people all along the East Coast to get out on the Greenway, and

·       Austin Parks Foundation is launching an #OptOutside social and digital campaign.

So far, we’re aware of 100+ events and activations. To help keep things rolling, we:

·       Are collecting news of other events and activations at http://bit.ly/2hdEkzX,

·       Have online tools at https://edelmanftp.app.box.com/s/po1n0cpgtdghrdad6lvofo6fqp8nt5a5,

·       Have a new experiential search engine at www.rei.com/opt-outside, powered by experiences and imagery from the outdoor community,

·       Are launching additional, inspiring videos using images taken by REI members — here’s one and here’s another – and by Thanksgiving, we’ll have launched nearly 20,

·       Continue to host on the REI Journal (https://www.rei.com/blog) powerful thought-pieces from leaders of the outdoor community arguing why life outdoors matters more than ever.

Our intent throughout #OptOutside 2015, 2016 and now 2017 is to shine a light on the unsung work and passions of the outdoor community. Your thoughts and actions move millions. Our thanks again for your partnership and commitment.

Alex Thompson, Vice President, Brand Stewardship & Impact, REI

Marc Berejka, Director, Community & Government Affairs, REI

Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2017/11/help-rei-grow-the-optoutside-movement-share-with-your-networks/

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